one possible future of the book

The latest Amazon Kindle deletion hoo-ha involves erotic incest fiction removed from users’ devices. This, apparently, is the kind of knowledge I process in my dreams, because I woke up in the middle of the night thinking —

Here we are in the future, when ereading is the norm. But our behemoth ebooksellers, skittish or outright paternalistic about content, prefer not to sell porn. Fetish porn, especially. Or, having inadvertently sold it under a self-publishing platform, they delete it from devices.

Our fetish porn readers of the future — concerned about their data security and property rights — therefore, naturally, turn to physical books for that slice of their reading.

And thus we have a world where reading is on devices except for the whispered topics, the things we hide from children and our neighbors. Physical books are things to read furtively; they connote disrepute. Quite the opposite of today’s notion of books as talismans.

3 thoughts on “one possible future of the book

  1. This idea is really interesting, particularly given that there’s been a fair amount of discussion about how people are using e-readers to hide things they’re “embarrassed” to be seen reading (romance novels, Dan Brown, etc.). But I think that someday soon people will figure out that just because no one else on the bus can see what you’re reading, it doesn’t mean *no one* can see what you’re reading. . . and then they’ll be hiding their paperbacks behind the covers of their e-readers.


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